Archive for June, 2010


Claim your Independence!

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Energy, Economy, Politics, Food, Post-Peak Oil – we’ve got the books to empower you!

Bye Bye, Miss American Empire by Bill Kauffman

Up Tunket Road by Philip Ackerman-Leist

Local Money by Peter North

Collapse DVD and Book Set

Bye Bye, Miss American Empire by Bill KauffmanNeighborhood Patriots, Backcountry Rebels, and Their Underdog Crusades to Redraw America’s Political MapIn colorful prose, Kauffman takes us across the country and across time to look at the history of secessionist movements. They come from vastly different political backgrounds, but conservative and liberal alike, these groups share the feeling that America is too big to serve the needs of her people–and they want out!
Up Tunket Road by Philip Ackerman-LeistThe Education of a Modern HomesteaderEver since Thoreau’s Walden, the image of the American homesteader has been of someone getting away from civilization, of forging an independent life in the country. What is the nature and reality of homesteading in the media-saturated, hyper-connected 21st century?
Local Money by Peter North
An inspiring and practical new book, Local Money helps you understand what money is and what makes good and bad money. It draws on the considerable track record of experimentation with local money around the world and gives ideas to those in the Transition movement and beyond about what has been tried, what works, and what to avoid.
Confronting Collapse Book & DVD Set
The acclaimed documentary Collapse, based on Michael Ruppert’s book Confronting Collapse, is now available. Even better, this scary but essential peak-oil duo is available as a set. Learn about the intricate connections between global finance and energy–and what’s going to happen when it all falls down.

Seed Saving and Plant Breeding

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Many people are re-discovering the profound yet simple joys of growing fresh food that just a few years ago they had no choice but to purchase with hard-earned currency from a supermarket.

To take the next step in liberating your garden from corporate control, consider saving your own seeds and developing your own vegetable varieties. These three books will take you from novice-level all the way to expert.

These and other gardening books are on sale for 25% off until the end of the day.

Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties by Carol Deppe

“Breeding is an expression of individuality, for your tastes and needs.”

Entertaining and scientific, this book gives a gardener or farmer all the tools she needs to save seeds and develop new varieties of favorite crops–on any scale from a few pea plants to an entire winter’s worth of squash. We are proud to be publishing a new book by Carol, available this October, called The Resilient Gardener.

 
Seed to Seed Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth

This book contains a lot of general information about seed-saving, but what distinguishes it is an extensive list of vegetable varieties, grouped by family, and their characteristics, as well as specific information about the seeds of each.

 
Garden Seed Inventory Garden Seed Inventory, 6th Edition by Seed Savers Exchange

Described as a “catalog of catalogs”, this book tracks the availability of non-hybrid seeds in the US and Canada. This is essential for those looking to save their own seeds, since only non-hybrid seeds will produce predictable offspring. Seed Savers Exchange works to preserve unique seeds for the future.

An Interview with Margo Baldwin

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Margo Baldwin, president and co-founder of Chelsea Green Publishing, is interviewed in Vermont Commons this month. Learn a little bit about the background of this small, visionary publishing house, nestled in the Green Mountains.

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DIY U in the Blogosphere

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

DIY U; Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education by Anya Kamenetz continues to make ripples amongst bloggers with an eye on college in culture, open source educational models, online pedagogy, and the uses of technology in higher education. Not all of them like what they’re reading, but the conversation is lively.

Here are a few of the recent posts we’ve read:

Teaching Writing in a Digital World – Reading DIY U
Ed Tech Post – DIY U: Take 2
Jim Groom – EduPunk or On Becoming a Useful Idiot
Michael Feldstein – DIY U: The Modern Guild at Work
Zunguzungu – DIY U and other Thatcherisms

Here’s the latest from Anya’s own blog, www.diyubook.com

DIY U is available in our bookstore.

WATCH: Video from the Confronting Collapse Tour

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

In mid-May, Michael Ruppert toured Vermont, speaking to groups about peak oil and the many signs of impending collapse. The tour concluded with a screening of the documentary film Collapse (which, according to Ruppert, has been pirated two million times!). This is a video made by Scott Moody, of his talk on May 13 at the Burlington, Vermont City Hall.

Watch and listen, but don’t worry, his predictions are only right 80% of the time…

Confronting Collapse, the book, is available in our bookstore.

Collapse, the documentary directed by Chris Smith, is also available; alone and as a set with the book.

WATCH: A Forest Garden Year

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Martin Crawford is the author of Creating a Forest Garden, and the co-star of the DVD A Forest Garden Year (the real star of course, is his lovely garden!). In this brief trailer, he show us a few of the edible plants that grow in the simulated natural ecosystem that is a forest garden.

As Crawford points out, his garden is much more efficient than your standard weed-warrior’s crop of annual vegetables. It yields far more per calorie spent on it than a row-crop garden (although it may not yield as much overall), mainly because a forest gardener uses plants’ natural characteristics to orchestrate a self-sustaining system. We may be clever critters, but we’ve got nothing on the millions of years Mama Nature has spent refining how plants interact with one another to sustain diverse life. This style of gardening takes a few pages from Gaia’s playbook to replace chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and to obviate the need for a “cast-iron back with a hinge in it”.

Creating a Forest Garden (a gorgeous, hardcover book full of photos) is available in our bookstore–on sale until June 30th!

Ron Koss on Beyond 50 Radio

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Twin brothers Ron and Arnie Koss, authors of The Earth’s Best Story, saw the massive fields of California’s agricultural landscape on a “rite of passage” trip in the 1970s. They were shocked, appalled, and inspired to change that landscape. Their powerful notion was that organic baby food would be a catalyst to grow the organic food movement into something beyond the hippie fringe.

In 1987 they produced their first jars of Earth’s Best Organic Baby Food, after years of working with farmers to develop the supply side of the business and building a plant to produce the food. Eventually the Koss brothers’ brilliant idea became attractive to investors–who pushed the brothers out of their own company!

In this podcast, Beyond 50 Radio’s Daniel Davis speaks to Ron Koss about the Earth’s Best story. Listen here.

Get a copy of The Earth’s Best Story in our bookstore.

Riki Ott speaks to On The Media about the oil spill and reporters’ duty to the public

Monday, June 28th, 2010

How much oil has spewed into the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, killing eleven workers and touching off the biggest environmental catastrophe in our history? How do we even find out? We members of the general public tend to rely on reporters to give us the facts, but often they rely on sources with a vested interest in the information–in this case BP itself.

Riki Ott, author of Not One Drop, speaks to WNYC’s On The Media about the way oil spill estimates are created and why reporters ought to be extremely skeptical of information given to them by BP.

From the transcript:

BROOKE GLADSTONE: So you’re essentially saying that the media have the attention span of a puppy. In other words, they ask a question and then the Exxon Valdez managers go, look, a squirrel, and then [LAUGHS] they’re off and running and they forgot what they asked.

RIKI OTT: That’s pretty much exactly what happened.


BROOKE GLADSTONE: Do you think the media have been smarter when it comes to the Gulf Oil leak? Have we seen some progress then?

RIKI OTT: No, I’m sorry to say, because all the numbers are repeated that are given by BP. There’s no demand by the media to say, where’s the independent monitoring? Our government didn’t even ask for it.

Riki Ott’s chronicle of the horrors of the Exxon Valdez spill, Not One Drop, is available in our bookstore.

Slow Money picks up steam

Monday, June 28th, 2010

On the heels of the Second National Slow Money Gathering at Shelburne Farms, The Fiscal Times reports that the movement is “picking up steam”.

Woody Tasch is the author of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money, and founder of the Slow Money Alliance. The principles of the Alliance prioritize, “soil fertility, carrying capacity, sense of place, care of the commons, cultural, ecological and economic health and diversity, and nonviolence.”

From the article:

Using the tenets of the slow food movement (buy local produce, take time to prepare and savor meals at home), the Alliance’s small network of investors, entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens are devising ways to get investment capital flowing to local, small food enterprises. The modest goal: to get a million Americans investing 1 percent of their assets in local food systems within a decade.Call it nurture capital.

Get a copy of the new paperback edition of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money in our bookstore.

Read the full Fiscal Times article here.

WATCH: Edens Lost and Found

Friday, June 25th, 2010

The PBS Series Edens Lost and Found originally aired in 2005. Here’s a 23 minute introduction to the series, which examines community renewal projects in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Seattle.

From the clip:

Paradise can be found in our own backyards, in our neighborhoods, in our cities…It’s time for us to reclaim our obligation that was given to us at the dawn of time to become true caretakers of our world.

Check out the companion book.


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